A Brief Look at Crime 7/09 -7/15

Second Joplin man pleads guilty in sports gambling operation

A second Joplin man has pleaded guilty in federal court to operating an illegal sports gambling operation on the Internet. William Lisle, 57, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Springfield to one count of using the Internet for transmitting betting and wagering information and one count of money laundering. When Lisle and a co-defendant, Kenneth B. Lovett, 72, of Joplin, were indicted by a federal grand jury earlier this year, Lisle faced 15 counts of money laundering in addition to a single count that both men faced of using the Internet to transmit information for a sports gambling operation. Lovett pleaded guilty May 18 and is awaiting sentencing. Both men could receive up to two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release for the conviction on using the Internet to transmit information for a sports gambling operation. Lisle also faces up to 20 years in prison, a $500,000 fine and three years of supervised release for the money laundering conviction. He will be sentenced following a pre-sentencing investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

 Scotsman jailed for £160k Basel diamond theft

A Scottish man has been jailed for the high profile theft of a £160,000 diamond at this year’s BaselWorld watch and jewellery show, after admitting in court that he “wanted to steal something of value” to pay off gambling debts. The theft took place during this year’s show, with thief James Thompson admitting that he drank champagne to calm his nerves before approaching a diamond dealer posing as a fake stone dealer. He had created fake business cards and wore a suit when he met with the stone dealer. He had expressed interest in buying the £160,000 stone – said to be the most expensive of the selection he was shown – then pretended that he was angry, pocketing the stone when the dealer was distracted. Thompson’s tactics were dubbed unsophisticated and desperate by police. He had checked into a Basel hotel under his own name and is said to have made no attempt to defend his actions.

 Scandal just part of the deal at WSOP

For a game supposedly mired in its own version of the Black Sox Scandal, the world of poker isn’t losing much sleep these days. That’s the only possible conclusion you can reach after visiting the World Series of Poker at the Rio Convention Center. On the day I roamed the rooms, there was next to no buzz about the ongoing Department of Justice investigation of an alleged bank fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling and multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme involving the Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars online sites. Although the FBI’s April 2011 raid on the online sites is commonly referred to as “Black Friday,” the throngs of players dreaming of piles of prize money and coveted gold bracelets at the WSOP weren’t going to let a little corruption keep them from the tables.

 Strip mall casino patron shoots would-be robbers

A patron at a strip mall casino in Marion County shot two men who attempted to rob the place, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. According to investigators, two men burst into the strip mall casino on State Road 200 in Ocala on Friday afternoon.  A sheriff’s report said that one of the men was carrying a baseball bat, the other had a firearm.  Surveillance video from the casino shows one of the suspects destroying a computer terminal with the bat, and the second suspect pointing the handgun around the room. After one of the suspects yelled, telling the patrons not to move, the video shows one patron approach the armed suspect and start shooting. The suspects fled the building. According to the sheriff’s report, investigators later received information that two men were transported from the Marion Oaks area to Shands hospital in Gainesville with gunshot wounds.

 ‘Million Dollar Burglar’ gets long prison sentence

Forget the Bellagio Bandit. Bryan Hiser’s prolific criminal ways eclipse the two audacious casino heists that put Anthony Carleo behind bars last year. Dubbed by Las Vegas police detectives as “The Million Dollar Burglar,” Hiser faces two life sentences for pilfering homes throughout the valley. The 31-year-old, who began thieving as a teen and has been in and out of jail, seems unrepentant. He told detectives he would “keep doing this until they stop letting me out.” Hiser may have gotten his wish. After being indicted in 11 separate cases dating back to 2010 – including stealing $2.6 million in goods from a nationally renowned philanthropist and breaking into the home of a police officer’s widow on the day of her husband’s funeral – Hiser was sent to prison for two consecutive terms of 10 years to life under the state’s habitual offender law. And while authorities have linked dozens of burglaries to Hiser, the true number of his crimes could be in the hundreds, prosecutors said.

 Westland woman sentenced to prison for embezzling $600K to feed gambling addiction

An admitted gambling addict from Westland is going to prison for nearly three years for embezzling more than $600,000 from her employer – a small family business that nearly went bankrupt and laid off employees because of the woman’s crimes.  According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Lori Ann Caruso, 40, was sentenced to 33 months in prison, ordered to pay restitution to her employer and attend gambling therapy for using her payroll job with two door companies to embezzle money she later gambled away.  According to court records, Caruso embezzled from 2007 to 2011.  She wired more than $380,000 from the company’s bank account into her own personal account, and used other employees’ credit cards to charge $270,000 for personal use, most of it involving cash advances at different casinos.

 Prolific burglar locked up after plaguing city residents for a decade

A prolific burglar who plagued the lives of Cambridgeshire residents for nearly a decade has been jailed for three years after he dramatically confessed to a £100,000 haul from 48 burglaries. Andrew Dunkley asked for the crimes – 47 of which were at residential properties – to be taken into account while being sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court for another break-in  earlier in the year. Deciding to “wipe the slate clean”, the 25-year-old admitted stealing jewellery worth £18,000 in one burglary during a series of offences dating back to 2004. In another break-in the gambling addict stole goods worth £15,000 and in others across Cambridge, east Cambridgeshire and south Cambridgeshire, his haul was up to £10,000. Sentencing Dunkley to three years in prison, Judge Jonathan Haworth said: “Heaven knows how much upset you’ve caused to people in this area.”

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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